Conditions of Discipleship

What does it take to be Christ’s disciple? Nothing less than everything. There were many who want to join but the price is too high. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” Jim Elliot.


Matt 8:18-22; Luke 9:57-62


Crowd – Seeking Indication

Scribe – Unthinking Decision

Disciple – Binding Affection

Jesus – Loving Salvation


Bible Passages

Matthew 8:18 Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19 And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 22 And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:25-27

Crowd – SEeking Indication

The nature of the crowd is indicated in the following passage:

A large crowd followed Him, because they saw the signs which He was performing on those who were sick. As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah. Luke 11:29

Cf. John 6:2


The crowds were following Jesus for – miracles

Jesus accused them of seeking signs that He is Messiah. He promises one sign: the sign of Jonah – Matt 12:40 – Jesus will be buried 3 days and rise from the grave.

Why was the crowd seeking a sign?

Why was that attributed as wickedness?

They were in for the wrong reasons:

  • Curiosity, not commitment
  • Pointers to Christ, not the person of Christ
  • Gifts not the Giver

Scribe – Unthinking Decision

  • The scribe made a clear statement “I WILL follow WHEREVER”
  • We make those statements too.

Do we set boundaries for our service?

Have we counted the cost?

Are we ready to pay the price?

To win the highest reward

Scribe – Unthinking Decision

Can we pay the price to win the prize?

We give up our luxury

Get rid of complacency

For the sake of the glory

Heb 12:2 Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

Disciple – Binding Affection

Another disciple defers the decision – Burying his father

The disciple could have been wanting to do one or more of the following:

  • Fulfil his duty as oldest son to be near the father in order to get inheritance
  • Remain near body to rebury bones after a year
  • Making an excuse

Disciple – Binding Affection

“Let the dead” could have referred to those dead to Christ.

The disciple would be dead to Christ if he chose to “bury the dead”. This was probably referring not just to the act of burial. Possibly he was waiting for his father’s inheritance, or death.

What plans do we need to bury to be a worthy disciple?

Christ – Loving Salvation

The Son of man had

  • No recreation
  • No relaxation
  • Only rest in God’s presence

Jesus searched for the right people to follow Him. Those who could:

  • give up comforts if required
  • let go of affections
  • not look for signs
  • trust, love and obey Him and value the Kingdom above all

Are we ready?

The Crowd wanted indication  Jesus avoided it

The Scribe stated a decision  Jesus questioned it

The Disciple prioritized affection – Jesus challenged it

Are we ready to go outside our comfort zone and remain uncompromising though people seem curious, comfortable, complacent and compromising.

Are we ready to replace the world’s standards with Christ’s standards and stand for them?


1.Why did Jesus avoid the crowds? What kind of people today characterize the crowds? John 6:2, Luke 11:29

2.Were the scribe and disciple genuine in their intent? How do Jesus’ conditions translate in today’s terms? (Luke 9:62)

3.How can we fulfil the requirements that they did not?

4.How did Jesus lead by example? What lesson do we learn from /him? Matt 8:18-22; Luke 14:25-27;

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